When the Super Bowl comes to town, host cities go all out to welcome partners, players, and fans. Hundreds of volunteers donate their time and talent to welcome visitors at the airport, staff game-adjacent events, and generally keep things running smoothly.
As a social media professional, I’ve been part of the teams behind the handles for a few large events, but never one as big as the Super Bowl—and never before during a pandemic.
Before every volunteer’s first shift there was training on messaging, the mission, how to use various online tools and more. We signed COVID-19 waivers and agreed to daily health screenings and 100% compliance with mask-wearing rules.
When the social media command center opened, experienced professionals and college students manned a socially distanced bank of laptops pulling in content from across social media. The vast majority of comments were positive as visitors and locals took in the Super Bowl experience. As with any subject up for discussion online, there were naysayers and malcontents as well.
People asked about the timing for fireworks displays, where to find memorabilia, if they could change their reservations at the Super Bowl Experience, if there was a wait list, etc. The command center was ready for just about anything and we spent most of our time complimenting visitors’ posts.
Hosting a Super Bowl during a pandemic is a tall order to fill, but the Tampa Bay Host Committee made sure it was memorable for all the right reasons.